Juventus defeated AS Roma 2-0 in Turin on Saturday afternoon, as Andrea Pirlo’s men closed the gap on Inter to five points at the top of Serie A.
I Bianconeri broke the deadlock on 13 minutes, when Cristiano Ronaldo struck a wonderful effort into the far corner to hand the hosts the advantage against the run of play.
The Portuguese superstar almost doubled Juve’s lead soon after, but his shot from inside the box deflected onto the crossbar and away from danger. The hosts did get their second of the game in the second half, when Roger Ibanez turned Dejan Kulusevski’s cross into his own net on 70 minutes.
Juventus closed out the game professionally in the final 20 minutes to earn all three points and leapfrog I Giallorossi into third in the league table.
Let’s check out the player ratings from a pulsating 90 minutes in Turin.
Wojciech Szczęsny (GK) – 7/10 – Had very few shots to save in the first half, despite Roma dominating possession. Dealt with the aerial threat well, commanding his box efficiently.
Danilo (RB) – 8/10 – Targeted by Roma down that wing. Stood up to the task excellently in the first half, rarely letting Spinazzola’s crosses beyond him. Disciplined.
Leonardo Bonucci (CB) – 8/10 – Forced into a lot of penalty box defending, clearing countless crosses and blocking runners attempting to break in behind the low defensive line.
Giorgio Chiellini (CB) – 8/10 – Won a few vital headers up against Mayoral and Dzeko, as Roma looked to whip in some venomous crosses.
Alex Sandro (LB) – 8/10 – Offered two vital interceptions in the early exchanges to deny a couple of threatening Roma moves. Skinned Cristante alive to set Juve’s first goal in motion.
Federico Chiesa (RM) – 7/10 – Did a good job of nullifying Spinazzola, hassling and tackling away at his national compatriot. Didn’t make much headway going forward.
Arthur Melo (CM) – 7/10 – Neat and tidy on the ball, relieving the pressure and slowing down Roma by dictating the pace of the game. Booked for stopping Mkhitaryan on the charge.
Adrien Rabiot (CM) – 6/10 – The least noticeable of the midfield four, but poked the odd toe into a tackle. The game once again passed him by.
Weston McKennie (LM) – 6/10 – Floated around the left flank, spotting pockets of space to try and impact the game. Struggled to gain possession and was subbed in the second half.
Cristiano Ronaldo (ST) – 8/10 – What a finish! Struck a lethal shot into the corner of the net from a stationary position. Little power, but total accuracy. Rattled the crossbar with a deflected strike. The difference.
Alvaro Morata (ST) – 7/10 – On hand to hold up the ball inside the box and lay it off to his partner, who got the ball rolling. Fired over the bar on his weaker left foot in the second half. Subbed.
Juan Cuadrado (RM) – 7/10
Dejan Kulusevski (ST) – 7/10
Federico Bernardeschi (LM) – 6/10
Matthijs de Ligt (CB) – 7/10
Merih Demiral (CB) – N/A
Pau Lopez (GK) – 6/10 – Couldn’t get across his goal to save Ronaldo’s first-half strike. Should probably question his positioning when the shot was hit. No chance with the second.
Gianluca Mancini (CB) – 8/10 – Couldn’t direct the ball towards goal from just under the crossbar. Booked for stopping Juve from countering with intent. Defended so high up the pitch, winning the ball in the opposition half time and time again. A solid performance.
Roger Ibanez (CB) – 5/10 – Battled well against Ronaldo and Morata, winning clever free-kicks when pushed into tight corners. Unfortunate to turn a cross into his own net under pressure from Ronaldo, which killed the game.
Marash Kumbulla (CB) – 7/10 – Possibly prevented Ronaldo from grabbing a second by deflecting his shot onto the crossbar. Decent throughout.
Rick Karsdorp (RWB) – 7/10 – Fought hard against Sandro and McKennie, and powered up and down the line like a locomotive.
Gonzalo Villar (CM) – 7/10 – Such a classy, calm operator in the midfield. Immune to the press. Unable to split Juve’s tight defence, and substituted in the second half.
Jordan Veretout (CM) – 6/10 – Drove forward with the ball and put in a shift in his own half, too, breaking up Juve’s counter-attacks.
Leonardo Spinazzola (LWB) – 7/10 – So, so dangerous when flying down that left flank. Constantly on the ball, but met his match in Danilo, who was up to the task.
Bryan Cristante (RW) – 6/10 – Played just off Mayoral, drifting inside and behind the Spaniard. Beaten way too easily by Sandro in the buildup to Ronaldo’s opener. Almost levelled with a superb volley, but fired just wide.
Borja Mayoral (ST) – 6/10 – Rarely found the opportunity to test Szczesny, dropping deep to link up with the midfield. Not an easy afternoon for the Spaniard.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (LW) – 7/10 – Couldn’t penetrate the Juve defence as he’d have hoped in the first half. Grew into the second half, showing some explosive running and dynamism on the ball, breaking lines with ease.
Edin Dzeko (ST) – 5/10
Amadou Diawara (CM) – 5/10
Carles Perez (RW) – 6/10
Bruno Peres (RWB) – 6/10